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2012 Golden Pencil recipients announced


A key executive at Walmart Canada and the heads of one of the country's most well-known tea and coffee brands are this year's recipients of the grocery industry's highest honour, the Golden Pencil Award.

Les Mann, senior vice-president of foods and consumables at Walmart Canada, will be given the Golden Pencil at a ceremony Nov. 19 in Toronto.

Also getting the award that evening are Paul Higgins and Michael Higgins, co-CEOs of Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee.

The announcement was made Wednesday by Peter Singer, chairman of the Food Industry Association of Canada, which oversees the Golden Pencil Award.

Mann has had a lengthy and prestigious career in the retail grocery industry, while the Higginses' Mother Parkers is something of a Canadian institution. The company is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Golden Pencil Award winners are chosen for having made a significant and worthwhile contribution to the Canadian food industry during their career.

This year saw a record response for nominations, according to a Food Industry Association of Canada release.

Paul and Michael Higgins' father, Paul Higgins Sr., established the Golden Pencil Awards in 1957 as a way to recognize the efforts of buyers and sellers in improving the Canadian food industry.

Higgins Sr. himself received the award in 1969. Other past winners include Sam Steinberg of Steinberg's (1963 recipient); Walter John Kraft of Canada Safeway (1971); Harrison and Wallace McCain of McCain Foods (1988); and Tim Penner of Procter & Gamble (2005).

Last year's recipients were Frank Coleman of Colemans Food Centres in Newfoundland and Phil Donne of Campbell's Canada.

Typically a Golden Pencil is awarded to a retailer and a manufacturer each year.

The symbol used for the award is a golden pencil, which signifies the transaction between supplier and retailer by the stroke of a pen.

This year's awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto on Nov. 19, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are for sale through Bill Sheine: email: [email protected]; mail: 2408 – 65 Spring Garden Ave., Toronto, Ont. M2N 6H9; fax: (416) 229-0231.

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